Vampire Academy

Paranormal YA characters tend to be a pretty mopey lot, whether they’re pining after sparkly vampire boyfriends or stressing over whether they’ll use their witchy powers for good or evil. But the tough, sarcastic leads of Vampire Academy look like a welcome exception.

Rose (Zoey Deutch) is a snarky ass-kicker in the Buffy Summers mold, though she protects bloodsuckers instead of fighting them; her charge and BFF is Lissa (Lucy Fry) is a vampire princess whose royal lineage doesn’t stop her from hating high school.

Their wisecracking powers come from the folks behind the camera: Director Mark Waters is best known for having helmed Mean Girls, while his screenwriter/brother Daniel Walters famously penned Heathers and Batman Returns. Watch the newest trailer after the jump.

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Vampire Academy

How can a YA adaptation about beautiful vampires set itself apart at a time when YA adaptations and beautiful vampires have become utterly, tiresomely ubiquitous? Well, it can’t hurt to have the guys behind two razor-sharp teen classics on board.

Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters comes from Mean Girls helmer Mark Waters and Heathers writer Daniel Waters, who adapted the script from Richelle Mead‘s wildly popular series of books. The first trailer has just hit the web, and you can check it out after the jump.

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It was announced earlier this week that Ben Affleck and longtime pal Matt Damon would reunite for a biopic about Whitey Bulger, with Casey Affleck set to co-star. We now have a more information about the younger Affleck’s part. He’ll be playing Bill Bugler, little brother of Whitey Bugler (Damon’s role). Unlike notorious gangster Whitey, Billy was an upstanding member of society — Korean war vet, lawyer, politician, and educator. He lost his post as the president of the University of Massachusetts in 2003 when he was found to have spoken with his fugitive brother in secret.

In addition to starring, Damon will also script the film; Affleck the Elder will direct and co-star. It’s unclear when exactly the picture will get off the ground, as both brothers and Damon have plenty of other projects on their plates. But they’ll have to get moving if they want to beat the two other Whitey Bulger movies in the works — there’s one in development with producer Graham King, who produced The Departed, and another titled Black Mass, which was scripted by Russell Gerwitz. [Showbiz 411 via The Playlist]

After the jump, new jobs for Dylan McDermott, Rufus Sewell, Gabriel Byrne, and Toby Stephens.

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The ubiquitous Michael Fassbender will be joining fellow Irishmen Gabriel Byrne, Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy and Domhnall Gleeson in Brendan Gleeson‘s directorial debut, a big-screen adaptation of Flann O’Brien‘s classic novel At Swim-Two-Birds. The project has been a long time in the works — Gleeson initially acquired the book rights seven years ago — but it seems to finally be picking up steam thanks to some new financers. Shooting is scheduled to begin next spring.

First published in 1939, At Swim-Two-Birds is considered one of the greatest examples of metafiction ever written. The plot revolves around a university student and writer whose characters rebel and eventually conspire to kill him. Although I’ve never read the novel, that all-star cast seems like reason enough to get excited for the film. [ThePlaylist]

After the jump, Isabelle Huppert joins a mystery project and Roswell FM gets two more stars.

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The latest addition to the cast of Dexter‘s sixth season is a great one: Edward James Olmos has signed on to play “a brilliant, charismatic professor of religious studies.” Colin Hanks and Mos Def are other recent additions to the core cast of the show, which begins shooting on May 25 and will premiere in the fall, likely in mid to late September. Being the definition of a good sport, Mr. Olmos tweeted right after the news broke: “It’s true… I’m coming for you Dexter….” [Deadline]

After the break, the ever-great Richard Jenkins joins Elizabeth Olson in an indie, and we catch up with the extensive casting of Crooked House. Read More »

Terry George, who wrote and directed Hotel Rwanda and Reservation Road and wrote In the Name of the Father, has roped in Brendan Fraser to star in the comedy heist film Whole Lotta Sole. The film is written by Mr. George and Thomas Gallagher, and follows “a young man robbing a fish shop in order to pay off a gambling debt; the heist goes terribly — and humorously — awry when it turns into a hostage situation.” Yep: robbing a fish shop.

Brendan Fraser is not the young man; he’s the shopkeeper. (But he is trying to elude his father in law, a gangster.) He can be a solid actor, when not being called upon to mug and grimace in family adventures. No idea how this one will turn out, but we’ll keep a lookout for the actors chosen to play the robber and gangster father in law. [Variety]

After the break, Clifton Collins, Jr. faces the supernatural and Hayley Atwell books an odd gig. Read More »

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Joseph Fiennes and Eva Green will travel back to Camelot, the Starz series that re-tells the story of King Arthur. Fiennes is Merlin, while Green will be Morgana. Solid casting with both, though I’m not certain that I’ll ever be able to look at an Arthurian film or TV series without having to leap the hurdle of some of Excalibur‘s actors. Nicol Williamson and Helen Mirren are pretty difficult to top as Merlin and Morgana. In this Camelot Jamie Campbell Bower is Arthur, and Tamsin Egerton is Guinevere. [Reuters]

After the break, the great Amy Ryan goes back to HBO and Madonna’s possibly interesting new film finds its last major player. Read More »

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